ECHO: Frequently Asked Questions

Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities (ECHO) is a specialized hands-on training program led by veteran entrepreneurs and consultants across a variety of sectors.


(Updated Summer 2021)

1. Are only Canadian citizens and permanent residents eligible to apply?

No, you do not need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to apply for ECHO. The only requirement is that your cardiovascular technology/innovation is being developed in a Canadian institution/company.

2. Do you need to have a start-up company around your technology in order to be eligible?

No, you do not need to have formed a start-up company around your technology. However, you must be developing a cardiovascular technology/innovation that you intend to commercialize.

3. How many hours of workshops and webinars per week are ECHO participants expected to attend?

ECHO is a 12-month program starting from October 2021. Its workshops and seminars are held on weekdays during typical work hours and are scheduled as follows:

Module 1 workshops: October – December 2021

During this period, 9 workshops (2 hours/session) will take place from October to December 2021. Each week will include one 2-hour workshop.

Module 2 and 3 workshops/webinars: January – June 2022

Module 2 workshops (2 hours/session) and Module 3 webinars (1 hour/session) will be held during this 6-month period with, at most, one 2-hour workshop or one 1-hour webinar held per week.

Pitch development: July – September 2022

During this summer stretch, there will be no workshops/webinars. ECHO ventures will have the opportunity to perfect their pitch deck, compete in a first-round pitch competition and receive mentorship from a MaRS entrepreneur-in-residence.

Final pitch competition: October 2022

The program culminates in a final pitch competition, which will be held in October 2022, where all ECHO ventures will have the opportunity to compete for start-up funding.

More details on the schedule will be provided in fall 2021.

4. Are all workshops and webinars held online? 

Yes: all workshops, webinars, mentorship sessions and meetings are held online. At least one member of each selected venture must participate.

5. What are the attendance requirements?

In order to be eligible to compete in the final pitch competition for the opportunity to win start-up funding, at least one member of your venture must attend a minimum of 80% of all program workshops and webinars.

6. What does enrollment cost for ECHO?

There are no costs associated with ECHO. ECHO is a free entrepreneurial training program for ventures that are successfully accepted into the program.

7. Do all workshops and webinars need to be taken within the 12-month period?

Yes, ECHO is strategically scheduled to build a strong entrepreneurial knowledge base for its participants. Thus, all modules have to be completed within the scheduled period.

8. Is ECHO affiliated with the University of Toronto (U of T)?

Yes, ECHO is funded and organized through two U of T programs: (i) the Translational Biology and Engineering Program, which is the U of T component of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research; and (ii) the Health Innovation Hub (H2i), a campus-linked accelerator.

9. Is ECHO a certified program?

At this time there is no formal certification associated with ECHO.